Isabelle FaustViolin
Alexander MelnikovPiano
Jean-Guihen QueyrasCello

Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov & Jean-Guihen Queyras

Saturday, February 8, 2020 | 7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information
San Francisco

$70/$55/$45

Program

ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM: Trio in E-flat Major, WoO.38; Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2; Variations on an Original Theme in E-flat Major, Op. 44; Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 “Ghost

About This Performance

Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov and Jean-Guihen Queyras bring together their individual prowess as international soloists in a Beethoven celebration.

Performer Biographies

Isabelle Faust captivates her listeners through her insightful and faithful interpretations, based on a thorough knowledge of the historical context of the works as well as her attention to current scholarship.

At an early age, Isabelle Faust won the prestigious Leopold Mozart and Paganini competitions and was soon invited to appear with the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Faust performs a wide-ranging repertoire, from J.S. Bach to contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Lachenmann, and Widmann. To highlight this versatility, in addition to her mastery of the great symphonic violin concertos, she also performs works such as Kurtág's Kafka Fragments with soprano Anna Prohaska, or Schubert's Octet on historical instruments. She will premiere several new works for violin and orchestra in the coming seasons, including concerti by composers Péter Eötvös, Ondrej Adámek, Marco Stroppa, Oscar Strasnoy, and Beat Furrer.

Over the course of her career, Isabelle Faust has regularly performed or recorded with world-renowned conductors including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Daniel Harding, Bernard Haitink, and Andris Nelsons. In more recent years Faust developed a close relationship with the late Claudio Abbado and performed and recorded under his baton. Their recording of Beethoven's and Berg's violin concertos with the Orchestra Mozart received the Diapason d'or (France), Gramophone Award 2012 (UK), and a Record Academy Award (Japan).

Faust has recorded many discs for harmonia mundi with her recital partner Alexander Melnikov. These include the Brahms Sonatas for violin and piano, Schumann's piano trios, as well as Chausson's Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet. Other recent releases include the Mozart Violin Concertos with Il Gardino Armonicao and Giovanni Antonini, and Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Pablo Heras-Casado. Her recording of Bach's harpsichord sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout was released in March 2018.

Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include an early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).

Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with distinguished period ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Musica Aeterna and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi and Valery Gergiev.

Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov developed a program that sets excerpts from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier, harpsichord) in musical dialogue with Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov, piano). Additionally, the artists recently recorded a unique all-Schubert program of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. An essential part of Melnikov’s work are intensive chamber music collaborations with partners including cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Alexander Melnikov’s association wth the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won a Gramophone Award. This album, which has become a landmark recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent release features the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano.

Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time.” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of albums featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios; the second installment, featuring the Piano Concerto and the Piano Trio No. 2, was released in September 2015. Other releases include a November 2016 recording featuring works of Prokofiev, a recording released in June 2017 with Chausson and Franck repertoire and his most recent release, Four Pieces, Four Pianos, which has been released in February 2018 and has since then been highly acclaimed by critics.

In the 2018–19 season Alexander Melnikov toured his project “The Man with the Many Pianos”, where he performs a solo recital on different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written. Next to concerts with Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, he continues his collaboration with Camerata Salzburg and as an Artistic partner with Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Further highlights included a US tour with Andreas Staier, recitals at Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Elbphilarmonie, Cité de la Musique Paris and the Chamber Music Hall of the Berliner Philharmonie as well as being an artist in residence at London Wigmore Hall.

Jean-Guihen Queyras enjoys an enviable reputation as a musician of exceptional versatility and integrity. His musical horizons are seemingly boundless and he is in great demand both as a soloist with international orchestras and conductors, a chamber musician and as a solo performer. He has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including The Philharmonia, Orchestre de Paris, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Philadelphia, Tonhalle Zürich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande and Netherlands Philharmonique, under the baton of conductors such as Franz Brüggen, Günther Herbig, Ivan Fisher, Philippe Herreweghe, Jiří Bělohlávek, Olivier Knussen and Sir Roger Norrington. He is a regular soloist with several early music ensembles such as Freiburg Baroque and Akadamie für Alte Musik Berlin and he made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York with Concerto Köln in March 2004.

His extensive repertoire incorporates a number of contemporary works and he has given several world premieres including Ivan Fedele’s cello concerto (Orchestre National de France, Leonard Slatkin) and Gilbert Amy’s concerto (Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall, Tokyo). He has also premiered and recorded Bruno Mantovani’s concerto with the Saarbrücken Radio Sinfonieorchester and Phillippe Schoeller’s Wind’s Eyes with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg. He premiered a new cello concerto by Michael Jarrell in the 2012–13 season, a co-commission by the orchestras in Utah, Lyon, Luxembourg and Suisse Romande.

Jean-Guihen is frequently asked to host artistic residencies. These have included projects in the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and De Bijloke in Gent. Since the 2010–11 season, he has been “Artist in Residence” with the Hamburg-based chamber orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz, with whom he leads and plays several eclectic programmes in the Laieszhalle Hamburg, Köln Philharmonie, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord Paris, the Konzerthaus Wien and the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam. This residency has recently been extended to include the 2012/13 season. Furthermore, he was soloist in residence of the Netherlands Philharmonic for the seasons 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Jean-Guihen’s particular focus on repertoire for solo cello, which articulately demonstrates the exceptional narrative and expressive force of the monodic instrument, led him to devise and perform several series of concerts featuring the Suites by J.S Bach alongside contemporary works and he commissioned six composers (Kurtag, Harvey, Mochizuki, Amy, Nodaïra & Fedele) to write an ‘echo’ to each of the six Bach Suites for solo cello, in a project called Six Suites, Six Echoes. He made his BBC Proms debut to unanimous acclaim (Haydn in C) in 2008 and appears regularly at the Aldeburgh Festival. His regular chamber music partners include the pianists Alexander Melnikov and Alexandre Tharaud and the violinist Isabelle Faust. He is a member of the Arcanto Quartet with Tabea Zimmermann, Antje Weithaas and Daniel Sepec, and performs regularly with Zarb specialists Kevan and Bijan Chemirani.

Jean-Guihen has made several successful recordings for harmonia mundi and, following the success of his much anticipated recording of Bach’s complete solo Suites in 2008 for which he received immediate acclaim (Diapason d’Or and CD of the month in Diapason, CHOC du Monde de la Musique etc), he has released two further recordings; a Debussy-Poulenc CD with pianist Alexandre Tharaud, which was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’Année in 2008 and ‘Cello Concertos of the 21st Century’, released last year. Previous CDs include Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ alongside works by Berg and Webern (again with Alexandre Tharaud), Dvořák’s cello concerto with the Prague Philharmonia under the baton of Jiří Bĕlohlávek) and Haydn and Monn’s cello concertos performed on a period instrument with the Freiburger Barockorchester, praised in both The Independent on Sunday and the Saturday Telegraph as the definitive baroque version.

Jean-Guihen was the solo cellist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, with whom he recorded the Ligeti Cello Concerto for Deutsche Grammophon, conducted by Pierre Boulez (Gramophone Contemporary Music Award). He recorded Dutilleux’s Tout un Monde Lointain for Arte Nova/BMG and Boulez’s Messagesquisse for Deutsche Grammophon (Gramophone Contemporary Music Award). In November 2002, Jean-Guihen Queyras received the City of Toronto Glenn Gould International Protégé Prize in Music, awarded to him by Pierre Boulez and the Glenn Gould Foundation, and was recently made ‘Instrumental Soloist of the Year’ at the French Classical Music Awards as well as ‘Artist of the Year’ by the readers of the Diapason magazine.

Jean-Guihen Queyras is Professor at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany and one of the Artistic Directors of the ‘Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence’ which take place in Forcalquier in July each year.

He has played a cello made by Gioffredo Cappa in 1696, on loan from Mécénat Musical Société Générale since November 2005.